Boston Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand returned from hip surgery to help his team become the best in the NHL during the regular season.
Marchand rejoined the team earlier than expected last season after undergoing hip surgery once the 2021-22 season as over. He wasn’t projected to get back into the lineup until around Thanksgiving, but returned on Oct. 27.
He said he felt great at the time and it would just take a little bit to get into the full swing of things.
He slid right back with Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk, not missing a beat. Marchand registered three points in his first game back. In his first 16 games of the 2022-23 season, Marchand only had two games where he didn’t record a point. In that same stretch he had five, multi-point games.
The first line was a cohesive unit yet again during the regular season with Marchand adding his normal flare and skill to the line’s success.
Breaking down his first half of the season, 20 out of 28 points through Dec. 31 were on the power play. That changed when the majority of his production in the new year came on 5v5 play and little on the power play.
He ended the season with 37 points at even-strength and 29 points on the power play and one shorthanded assist in 73 games, averaging 18:31 TOI – definitely some balanced play even though when those points came wasn’t consistent throughout the season.
It was Marchand’s first time since the 2009-10 season where he didn’t score a shorthanded goal. Marchand also had a bit of null at the season’s end with a stretch of seven pointless games.
Although on paper Marchand had a great regular season, you have to wonder if he was fully healthy for all of it coming back from that major surgery. Marchand repeatedly said during postgame interviews that throughout the season he didn’t feel his game was completely back yet.
Marchand, along with Tyler Bertuzzi, put up the most points during the Bruins’ first round series against the Florida Panthers with 10 points each. Marchand was arguably one of the more consistent players for the Bruins against the Panthers.
Marchand found himself contributing the most on the power play as six of those points came on the man-advantage. He also scored a shorthanded goal during the series unlike the regular season where he came up short this year.
But that’s not to say there were definitely moments B’s fans, and Marchand, are going to be sore about for a while.
He’s going to want the breakaway on Sergei Bobrovsky back which could have put the series away in Game 5. And in Game 7, when the Bruins’ season was on the line, Marchand came up short and didn’t register any points and was -2.
R1, Gm 5: Sergei Bobrovsky makes an incredible save on Brad Marchand to rob him of a buzzer-beater goal in the final seconds of the 3rd period #BOSvsFLA #NHLBruins #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/Efs6NLxf1D— nopClips (@nopClips) April 27, 2023
There’s a lot of frustration and disappointment with how the Bruins exited the first round, but for the most part, Marchand played to his expected level.
It also would have been nice if he was able to have made more of an impact on 5v5.
As the new season rapidly approaches, here’s to hoping Marchand continues to return to form before his hip surgery.
Brad Marchand 2022-23 Highlight Goal: